Spinach and Ricotta Naked Ravioli

Scandalous name for a post, no?

That’s just the kind of mood I’m in

Does that sound bad?

Eh, it happens

I actually got the idea for this recipe here

Only I upped the ante by making my own butter and ricotta for the ravioli

I’m so fancy

So what exactly is a “naked” ravioli?

Let me break it down for ya

You know when it’s summer, and sweltering hot, and you’re trying to sleep but your damn blanket is making you so sweaty so you end up throwing it off in a fit of rage in the middle of the night? Wel,l that’s how I imagine naked ravioli was born. The little spinach ricotta filling just got too hot one day and while baking in the oven split open its little pasta blanket shell. And whoever was making them thought “why don’t I just get rid of this shell and let this ‘oli breath?”

That’s why these are such an awesome summer recipe, they are comforting and creamy thanks to the ricotta and the spinach keeps it fresh. And because there’s no pasta, there is no carb overload to weigh you down.

But wait, the plot (or rather, the sauce) thickens!

I dressed these raviolis ever so lightly with a brown butter sage sauce

What you’ll need:

2 cups of fresh Spinach – when cooked…roughly 2 bunches

2 cups Ricotta

1 cup Parmesan, grated

1 Egg

1 tsp. Nutmeg

Salt and Pepper, to taste

1 stick Butter

1 bunch Sage, stems trimmed

What to do with it:

Preheat the oven to 500

Cook the spinach in 1 of 2 ways – wilt in a pan or boil for 1 minute. Don’t kill the spinach, you want it to retain some form, but you don’t want it to be stiff

Drain spinach thoroughly – squeeze it until you think it can’t be squeezed anymore. Excess water will ruin your ravioli’s curvacious figure

Once drained, roughly chop the spinach

Combine Spinach, Ricotta, Parmesan, Salt, Pepper, and Nutmeg in a bowl and mix well with your hands. Don’t be afraid to get them a little dirty

Scoop out Tablespoons of the mixture and roll into a ball – I prefer them be oval, but if a round ball tickles your fancy, go for it

Place on a baking sheet lined with tin foil
Cook in the oven for 5-7 minutes until the tops are gently brown

While they are cooking, heat butter in a pan on medium heat

Allow the butter to brown ever so slightly then add the sage leaves, cooking until the leaves begin to crisp and curl

*I have added the sage at the same time as the butter and found that the leaves crisp up too much and end up tasting just a little too burned plus the burnt pieces break off and muddle the gorgeous color of the browned butter

When the naked raviolis are done place them on your serving platter and top each with a few sage leaves, then pour butter across the tops

Maybe pair it with a refreshing gin and tonic?

Just a thought

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Spinach and Water Chestnut Wontons

Do you ever go to Chinese restaurants and order wontons?

When they get to your table, do you ever stare in fascination at how those sumptuous babies are made?

I do!

I love wontons. Especially cream cheese filled wontons where the filling melts into the cracks and folds of the crispy shell.

I would consider myself to be pretty DIY, and so the other night, I decided, hey, I might as well try to make some.

I had to watch this Youtube video to learn how to wrap wontons, and turns out it’s amazingly easy!

I went to the corner market and got the ingredients I would need. I wanted to make some wontons that were a little healthier than just cream cheese and fried dough (delicious as that is). So in addition to the cream cheese, I stuffed my tons with:

Spinach, lots of it

Green Onion

and Water Chestnuts for crunch

You start with your filling, the measurements are really based on your preference.

I used roughly

4 oz Cream Cheese

3 Green Onions

3-4 handfuls of Spinach

1 small can of Water Chestnuts

Mix all that together

Assembly is simple,

Lay out a wonton on your counter (or cutting board)

Have a dish of water handy

Place a dollop of filling right in the center

To fold them, trace a half moon of water around one side then fold the 2 sides together, squeezing out the air and pinching the sides tightly shut.

I chose to fold my wontons in the “Nurse Cap” style. Its easy as pie. Fold the right edge over the left and pinch it shut with your fingers.

I rounded this one out to show you the bottom, but you can push the folded top flap and the filled portion together.

After you’ve finished, its time to start frying!

In an appropriate sized sauce pan, place about an inch and a half of oil inside and heat on medium, not to the point that the oil starts smoking though.

Place a few at a time in the pot, remember though, don’t crowd the wontons! They need their space to fry.

Your wontons will float on one side, so halfway through flip them over.

I found that turning the heat down a little and cooking the wontons low and slow worked well for me. But if you’re starving go ahead and keep it at medium/medium-high and just watch them like a hawk so they don’t burn.

Yea, they were incredible. The spinach warmed and softened while the green onions maintained their subtle crisp flavor and the water chestnuts were that extra crunch vital to keeping a dish from flat lining.

If you wanted to go a healthier route, you could poach the wontons in chicken or vegetable broth. For me though, I think this method is better suited for a wonton soup, rather than an appetizer, and I think I would prefer a meat and veggie filled poached wonton. I’ll leave my cream cheese crisp.

What are some of your favorite wonton fillings?

RAW Food Challenge Day 7

Hi all!

I am so sorry this is a day late, yesterday just got away from me!

But my last day went so very well!

I am happy to report that I survived this long week of raw food!

So, what did I eat on my final day?

Breakfast: Overnight Oats with Blueberries, Almond Flour, Spices, and Honey

I decided to start (in a sense) where I began, with some overnight oats. Remember Day 1 where I made overnight oats with chia seeds, apple, spices, and agave nectar? I thought it would be rather poetic of me to come full circle and do a variation of that.

Blueberries and Almond Flour sounded like a nice combo, and so it was

I pulled some Almond Milk Overnight Oats out and loaded them up with the goods

1 cup Overnight Oats

1 cup Almond Milk

1/3 cup Almond Flour

1/2 cup Blueberries

1 tsp Raw Honey

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp All-Spice

Tiny wedge of Lemon, optional

This breakfast was another one of my favorites, and it was kind of inspired by a blueberry crumble almost. It really was perfect.

My man has been eating raw with me for some of my meals and this one was by far his favorite as well, I practically had to pry the bowl out of his hands ’cause he was lovin’ it so much!

Seriously though, I could eat this any day of the week. No question.

Lunch: Cucumber Sandwich with Tahini, Spinach, Sprouts, Tomato, and Dill

I love sandwiches. Truly. If there was one thing I could eat for the rest of my life it would be a sandwich (it was a toss up between a sandwich and a salad). I just think they are the perfect meal since you can put pretty much whatever the heck you want in them and they will still be so wonderful and contained between 2 pieces of bread, or something along those lines.

Think about it. It’s true.

So my lunch was an interpretation of the glorious ‘wich.

I made myself a sandwich alright, but instead of bread, my outside layer was a cucumber.

Inventive, huh?

I took a cucumber, sliced it in half lengthwise and gutted it

Then I took some of my raw homemade Tahini sauce and used that as my spread

I was gonna just lay some whole spinach leaves on top of that, but then I pulled them out of the bundle and they were HUGE! Oh my word, I’m just used to baby spinach ’cause these leaves look massive!

I gave a few leaves a rough chop and that was that.

I added some clover sprouts and sliced cherry tomato on top of that, and of course a nice sprinkling of dill!

I would recommend eating it as an open faced sandwich, since you can’t really squish cucumber to fit in your mouth the way you can with bread!

It was definitely an interesting looking sandwich, that is not only fun and great tasting!

Matt and I enjoyed it on a picnic bench in the back of the Ferry Building while basking in the fair spring weather and watching the Bay after perusing all of the shops inside.

After walking around some more and staring at all the things I couldn’t yet eat, we decided to head out for dinner.

Dinner: Sashimi

Since it was my last night on the raw challenge, Matt and I went to our favorite sushi restaurant. The guys who work here love us. For real. It’s great, every time we go there they hook it up with more free food than we can handle!

It was a little sad having to say no to it all, but sweet boy Matthew got to indulge without me.

I opted for a sashimi plate with Tuna, Mackerel, Salmon, and Red Snapper, I drizzled some fresh lemon juice on top and they were good to go.

I remembered a few bites in that the restaurant would obviously have some nori so I asked for a few sheets of it to make my own rice-less sushi.

Like I said, I’m not the best sushi roller

Usually after sushi I am stuffed (though that stuffed feeling doesn’t last too long since it goes through ya so quickly) but after just the sashimi, I felt great. Full but not on the verge of a food coma.

I was a good girl and cleaned my whole plate!

Matthew was a good boy too and cleaned his plate, but they took it away before I could take a sweet shot of him with it.

It was a long day that ended very well, and overall it was a great week too.

I’m so glad I went raw for a week, it was such an amazing experience that taught me more than I would’ve expected.

More to come on my raw feelings in the next post!

What are your favorite fish to eat as sashimi?

White Fish with Tomato, Capers, and Olives

Now here is the main dish for my dinner with Chenoa. White Fish with a salsa like topping. Spinach, olives, tomato, capers, onion all blended with a generous portion of white wine. This recipe was from the Food Network, like the green beans. Once again though, I altered the recipe to entice my taste buds.
I have really been craving fish lately, and as I am trying to expand my culinary horizons I have been making an effort to cook with it. Once Chenoa arrived we made our way to the store. After perusing the store for the best deals on everything we headed to the seafood section. The original recipe called for Sea Bass and I was looking forward to trying it. When I approached the glass encasing (that really doesn’t do much when it comes to encasing the fishy smell) I was shocked – SHOCKED – at their quite pitiful selection of Sea Bass. First of all, the didn’t have any fillets, only medallions. I could have dealt with that. But then on top of it, right next to these puny little medallions was a sign that said “Previously Frozen.” Ew. No thanks. I will use something else.

Not knowing my white fish options very well I asked the man behind the counter which fish he suggested. We came to the consensus that Dover Sole would be an adequate substitute.

If you are an inexperienced fish chef like myself, then let me REALLY recommend this recipe. Not only is it is quick but the hardest part of the prep work was slicing the olives (which you could buy pre-sliced). Oh and the diced onions,  but hey that’s not so bad.

I cut up both the olives and onions before cooking the fish to save time afterward. I diced a whole yellow onion and sliced the a can of olives thin, each olive was left in about 3 to 4 pieces once I was done wielding my knife. (The original recipe called for only half a cup of olives, but I figured we might as well use the whole can cause I really like ’em).

I have noticed, as perhaps you have from my previous posts, that I have a habit of color coordinating my cutting board to whatever color the item I am chopping. Alas, I don’t have a black cutting board, so the trend was severely disrupted. It’s a tragedy, really.

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